Thursday, December 22, 2005

Fluff and Nonsense @ Fairlington

I joined the Fluff and Nonsense spinning group at the Fairlington Community Center. Lynn, a regular, was kind enough to show me how to use the featherweight Bosworth spindle that Sheila of Journey Wheel picked for me to use with silk. I spun hankies that I picked up from the Springwater Fiber Workshop.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Natural Dye Group @ Springwater Fiber Workshop

I went to the Natural Dye Group meeting (every 3rd Friday; 7-10 pm) in Alexandria. Only Sylvia del Mar was there. No else was expected as it was close to Christmas. I thought I'd just watch and kibitz, but brought Wensleydale, BFL and ginned cotton anyway. Good thinking.

Sylvia brought out reference books for me to have a look at. The most beautiful was the Indigo Madder & Marigold: A Portfolio of Colors from Natural Dyes by Trudy Van Stralen. Mental note: got to get a copy. Then she introduced me to the powdered mordants in thigh-high bins: alum, soda ash, urea, ... no chrome because it's not good for the environment. There were other stuff overhead for thickening dyes for use as fabric paint.

So we dipped wool in an alum solution. Since I ohhhed and ahhhed at the pictures of bright pink in the Van Stralen book, Sylvie picked brazilwood powder. Heat water for a minute in the microwave, dissolve some brazilwood powder, reheat again for another minute. If you alternately add vinegar and ammonia, the afterbath will turn into red-orange, magenta, and back to red-orange like magic. We divided the afterbath into two plastic cups: one red orange and one magenta. Squeezed out the mordant liquid and divided the fiber between the cups. More heat in the microwave, about three minutes each, as long as the plastic cup did not melt.

Sylvia made me pinch out a tiny piece of each color and blotted it to dry. It was to be stapled onto an index card with notes of date, dye, solutions and time in the afterbath.

When it was done, we covered the cups for me to take home and soak overnight. The fibers are to be taken out of the afterbath, squeezed and dried before washing.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Little Gem 2 and folding stool from Majacraft

My new spinning wheel has arrived. It's a Majacraft Little Gem 2 and I got the matching folding stool to go with it. Have wheel, will travel!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Stitching Tania's drawing

Tania's coloring book is perfect for embroidery.

Patches for the Insubordiknit

liked the embroidered patch I wore to Camp Plucky and I liked her felted patches at her shop, so we did a trade.

Similar patches went to Jenny Neutron Star and Mike Bennett who filmed a documentary on the Camp Plucky East spinners.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Pluckyfluff goes to the East Coast

I drove to Mechanicsburg, PA, to attend the two-day Camp Plucky East with Pluckyfluff herself, Lexi Boeger, who came with Jenny Neutron Star in tow.

The event was organized by Angela and Reenie of Material Whirled and was attended by about 12 other spinners, including Heidi of mypapercrane and Jacey of insubordiknit, who pointed me to getting a Strauch Petite. Mike Bennett of betterhollywood filmed a documentary on women and crafts for his school project.

All spinners dropped by The Mannings in East Berlin at some point during the weekend.

Photos courtsey of Reenie and Angela.

Lexi doing a demonstration.

Mike Bennett documenting the event.

Little Ann on mom Reenie's wheel.

Crazy batts all in a row.

Me on my Kiwi.

Amy spinning of a spindle and comtemplating on getting a wheel.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Intensive Spinning Workshop @ Springwater Fiber

Attended Sylvia Del Mar's two-day intensive spinning workshop at the Springwater Fiber Workshop in Alexandria. VA. Sylvia says, "There's no such thing as an ugly yarn!".

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival

I signed up and got a 15-minute spinning instruction at the MSWF.